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Maximize visual design expertise for an educational approach to student success

If you don’t have the design experience, or your time is spread too thin, you could decide to outsource your visual design. GPG Music Director of Customer Relations and award-winning designer Aaron Hines, shared some insights on engaging a visual designer:

● Make sure you set up and stick to a timeline. Start with when you need to learn drill and work backwards.

○ When does your guard staff need the drill to write the choreography?
○ Back to the date your designer needs to have your instrumentation, equipment changes, prop specifics, and source material to meet these dates.
○ Stick to these dates! Expecting your visual team to bail out late music deliveries or late design choices is not conducive to a healthy relationship or a product to be proud of.

● Think through all aspects of your vision and design to assure accomplishment.
○ Does your budget allow for the props you want to have?
○ Can your team afford to spend time learning how to build, use, and get props to and from rehearsal?
○ Can your booster program pull off your vision financially or pragmatically? (not just building it but also transporting it to and from competitions)

● Provide your designer as much information as possible.
○ Do you have any field restrictions at your main rehearsal space? (like only having a practice field that is 20-to-20) Or maybe you rehearse in a parking lot where there is a light pole on the 35 front hash. If this sounds familiar, ask your designer to work around these restrictions so your team isn’t adjusting last minute for the performance.

● Your designer should also know:
○ The level of complexity you would like. Factors such as the amount of rehearsal time, the experience level of the group, how many pages you can learn/clean in a season, and what the performance venue is (college gameday, national competition, middle school parent performance night) are important aspects to review.

○ Where your guard staff would like equipment changes to happen and how many members go to what implement.
○ What your prop specifics are. Where? How many? What size? Are they used to hide performers and do equipment/costume changes behind?
○ Whether you plan to add/subtract members per movement to accommodate changes to your team or if your initial numbers are to be used throughout the design.
○ Details the strengths and weaknesses of your ensemble so the design can be tailored to your specific team.

● Engage a designer who utilizes the benefits of modern technology. Drill sheets in PDF format, Cast Lists, Production Sheets, and Video Animation synced to audio are irreplaceable benefits to efficient rehearsals and a staff who can focus on educating the ensemble.

Behind every creative design of mine is a detailed and educational approach for the students’ success. I have highlighted the issues from over the years that either sweetened or soured a relationship and student experience. Good luck out there!

GPG Music is the premiere source for award-winning music and design for inspirational marching band, captivating concert music, and powerful indoor percussion. We’ve been supplying K-12, college and independent groups for nearly two decades. The GPG team includes educators, designers and composers dedicated to providing reasonably priced custom-level compositions and visual design for all ability levels.GPG Music is dedicated to expanding the diverse voices in Performing Arts music. #InspireTheNextGeneration